Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Education

Date of Defense

7-7-2017

Graduate Advisor

Kim Song

Committee

Charles Granger

Jacqueline Lewis-Harris

Gayle Wilkinson

Abstract

The impact of a culturally relevant professional development series on classroom teacher’s cultural lens was determined. Fifty teachers from two different school districts participated in 16 hours of professional development in an attempt to impact their understanding of how culture and instruction are connected.

During the professional development, participants took part in activities, dialogues and reflections designed to impact their cultural competency. The content of the four professional development sessions included (a) videos on culturally relevant teaching; (b) discussion of cultural identity of participants and how it surfaces in the classroom; (c) discussion of the culture, values, and beliefs of the students in the classroom; (d) completion of written reflections after each session; and (e) participation of selected teachers in a semi-structured interview.

After administering the four professional development sessions, the results indicated that the cultural lenses of teachers were impacted. Professional educators indicated an increased level of self-awareness and a better understanding of cultural diversity and the impact that culture has on instruction.